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Nuclear Weapons Facilities are Troublingly Insecure April 13th, 2015
Carl Kabat, OMI, one of the Ploughshares Eight, is featured in a New Yorker article on the faith-based protests against nuclear weapons that started in the 1980’s. Recent anti-nuclear weapons protests have pointed out the vulnerability of high security US nuclear facilities.
“The Y-12 National Security Complex sits in a narrow valley, surrounded by wooded hills, in the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Y-12 and Oak Ridge were built secretly, within about two years, as part of the Manhattan Project, and their existence wasn’t publicly acknowledged until the end of the Second World War. … [S]ince the early nineteen-eighties a small group of peace activists, devout supporters of the Plowshares movement, have been trying to break into nuclear-weapons sites throughout the United States. They’ve almost always succeeded. Plowshares actions have not only revealed serious vulnerabilities in the security of America’s nuclear enterprise; they’ve also shed light on the inherent risks faced by every nation that possesses weapons of mass destruction. Having these weapons creates endless opportunities for theft or misuse. At the moment, the probability of terrorists staging a successful nuclear attack may be low, but the consequences would be unimaginably high. And, as Plowshares activists have demonstrated again and again, improbable things happen all the time.”
Read this fascinating and troubling article recently published in the New Yorker magazine: “Break-In at Y-12: How a handful of pacifists and nuns exposed the vulnerability of America’s nuclear-weapons sites”.
Our thanks go to Jane Stoever of PeaceWorks, Kansas City for this article on the anti-nuclear protest action by Oblate Father Carl Kabat on July 4th.
Carl Kabat, 80, a priest in the Order of Mary Immaculate, spray-painted the National Security Campus entry sign at 10 a.m. July 4. This is Carl’s fourth consecutive “interdependence action” in July at the so-called campus, the new home for the Kansas City Plant (in Kansas City, Mo.), where the National Nuclear Security Administration this year will begin making and procuring non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons. In a phone call to friends at 10:03 a.m., Carl said, “This damned plant has got to be closed somehow, some way.” He chose red paint to signify blood, he said, and after painting was sitting alone by the huge sign, awaiting arrest.
The new $687 million facility replaces the Kansas City Plant at Bannister Federal Complex, also in Kansas City, Mo., where the federal government has documented about 900 toxins–the legacy from radioactive and other substances used at the old plant. The Kansas City Plant makes parts such as wiring, fuses, guidance systems, security devices, and the trigger for nuclear weapons.
It is expected that Carl will spend the weekend in the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department’s holding cell; will come before a judge via TV court on Monday, July 7; will be freed; and will be told to return to Kansas City for a hearing, where he’ll speak truth to power.
About noon on July 4, lawyer Henry Stoever took pictures of Carl’s handiwork, but by 6 p.m., when Jane Stoever went for more pictures, the sign was under cover. Both Stoevers were warned to leave or be charged with trespass.
In a statement Carl prepared before an earlier July 4 resistance action, Carl said, “One of our Minuteman III’s could kill approximately three million of our sisters and brothers. … We have perfected the ‘art’ of killing and burning. … Four Minuteman III’s could kill 12 million of our sisters and brothers. … The opinion of the International Court in 1995 states that nuclear weapons are a Crime Against Humanity!”
In 1980, Kabat became one of the first Plowshares, following Isaiah’s mandate to “beat swords into plowshares.” He has spent about 17 years in prison for resisting nuclear weapons. In his short phone call this July 4, Carl signed off, “God bless! Peace on you!”
Oblates Join Anti-Nuclear Protest in Kansas City July 15th, 2013
Oblate Superior William Antone, OMI joined Carl Kabat, OMI last Saturday in at an anti-nuclear weapons protest in Kansas City. They were among two dozen protestors who were arrested at the PeaceWorks rally at the Honeywell Plant. The plant is managed and operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, which produces 85 percent of the nonnuclear material used in the United States nuclear bomb arsenal.
Those arrested had crossed onto Honeywell property. Roughly 60 people were present, with quite a few young people from Catholic Worker communities.
The Catholic Worker Community has posted photos of the protest on Flickr. View them here…
Carl Kabat, OMI interviewed on St Louis TV Station January 11th, 2010
Carl Kabat, OMI – jailed for an anti-nuclear protest and released just before Christmas – was interviewed by a St. Louis TV station on December 30th. Fr. Kabat, 76 years old, has spent a total of 18 years behind bars off and on throughout his life. He has been breaking into nuclear weapons facilities since the 1970’s, trying to send a message of peace.
“You have to put yourself where your words are – otherwise you’re just kind of like flapping your jaws…,” said Kabat.
When he’s not behind bars, Father Kabat spends most of his time in the North St. Louis community doing outreach ministry to the poor.
Carl Kabat Released from Jail – Took Stand in His Own Defense December 23rd, 2009
Fr. Kabat fired his attorneys and decided to say his peace on the stand. In a written question during their delliberations, one juror asked why he wouldn’t rather just protest outside the perimeter of the fence peacefully.
“Why in the Civil Rights (era) did they march down the street when they said, ‘You can’t march down the street?’ Because it’s wrong,” Kabat answered. “I guess I think it’s up to us to try to get rid of these things.”
Deputy District Attorney David Skarka asked him simply, “Are you above the law?
Kabat replied: “All wrong law, yes. God’s law is above all these man-made things.”